Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Auntie Beeb Gets Huffy

I have always promised – and now I’m making it public – that wherever my political career (ha ha!) takes me, I will never use the phrase “do you know who I am?”. Admittedly, it’s not a difficult pledge to make when most of the time the response would be “no, who are you and why should I care?”, but it is the comic staple when portraying the stereotype of someone who has become too big for their boots.

Another response would be “who do you think you are?” and it would seem apt to ask such a question of the BBC this morning, as they do seem to be trying to throw their tax-funded blubber around and getting sniffy about ITV’s decision to schedule Coronation Street against the TV debate, this week being hosted by the Beeb.

Of course it would be good to have the debates widely viewed but, frankly, if someone is more interested in Corrie than watching the final round of the debates then that’s up to them, just as it’s up to any individual not to vote. It is the irony of democracy that the freedom to vote should include the freedom not to vote or take such a full part as political anoraks like yours truly.

However, what really exposes the BBC’s outdated sense of superiority is their hypocrisy. Last week, they had the opportunity to take the live feed of the debate from Sky, which was offered for free, on BBC1 or 2, but they refused. Instead they scheduled Watchdog, Have I Got News for You and Outnumbered*. OK, so ITV didn’t show it either but next time the Beeb bangs on about its public service remit to defend its anachronistic method of funding, perhaps Parliament will question just who they think they are.

* actually one of the BBC’s finer efforts, but that’s not the point.


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